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Motor shows may be a distant memory in Australia, but they’re still going strong in the rest of the world. This week’s Munich motor show gave carmakers their chance to show off their next generation of cars with the usual array of new production cars and wild concepts.
But not all concepts are created with equal purpose. Some, like the Audi Grandsphere, preview a future production model (the next A8) but with a wild, over-the-top look to make it standout. Then there are others, like the BMW Vision Circular that don’t forecast anything for the showroom in the future.
So, with that in mind, we bring you a recap of the most important new models and concepts from Munich.
It took Mercedes 39 years to introduce an all-new G-Class, but now - only three years later - the German giant is set to fast-forward to an electric future. While officially known as the ‘Concept’ EQG, this is a thinly disguised production-ready vehicle.
What’s really important is that the EQG sits on a ladder-frame chassis and has four individually controllable electric motors which should help ensure it retains the ‘go anywhere’ capability of the current model.
It also retains the same boxy looks that have made the G-Wagen so famous, which should help it remain one of the brand’s most popular models, especially in the crucial US market.
Daimler recently announced that it’s planning to transition all Mercedes-Benz models to electric power - and AMG was included in that. We got a look at the short- and long-term future of AMG at Munich with the hybrid GT 63 S E Performance 4 Door Coupe and all-electric EQS53.
The new GT 63 S combines a 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 with a rear-mounted electric motor for 620kW/1400Nm of plug-in performance. But this will only help bridge the gap before more all-electric AMGs like the EQS53 arrive.
The EQS53 is powered by a dual-motor (one on each axle for all-wheel drive) set-up that comes in two states of tune. The ‘entry-level’ model packs a 484kW/950Nm punch, but if that’s not enough,h you can get the AMG Dynamic Plus package that bumps those figures up to 560kW/1200Nm.
This is a classic example of a wild-looking, attention-grabbing concept that has a more humble production future. While Cupra has played to its performance focus and shaped an outrageous, rally-inspired hot hatch, it’s what lies beneath the surface that’s really important - the new Volkswagen Group small EV platform.
Known as ‘MEB Entry’, this new architecture will underpin the wider Volkswagen Group’s next-generation of city-sized models. Volkswagen itself previewed a more production-ready look at what this will mean in the form of the ID.Life concept, which is expected to become the ID.2 in a few years.
Audi and Skoda versions of city-sized EVs are also planned off the MEB Entry platform.
The South Korean brand has made little secret of its interest in building a hydrogen-powered sports car, and the Vision FK concept is the strongest indication yet. But it’s what it says about the wider Hyundai Motor Group’s commitment to hydrogen that makes it so important.
Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (FCEVs) have lost ground to battery electric vehicles (BEVs) in recent years, but Hyundai, Kia and Genesis will begin rolling out FCEVs under the Group’s ‘Hydrogen Wave’ plan.
By 2028, Hyundai Group wants all of its commercial vehicles to have a FCEV variant, which could be the key to unlocking wider use of the refuelling network.
While it’s switch from petrol to electric power is important, it’s the body-style that really makes a statement. This is the clearest sign yet that the once dominant hatchback segment is facing an uncertain future.
Is Ora the next Chinese brand to take on Australia? That certainly looks the case with the new Ora Cat small hatch unveiled in Munich and expected to be offered in right-hand drive for the UK market and eventually Australia.
As we’ve reported previously, Ora is a subsidiary of Great Wall Motors (GWM) and is an all-electric brand aimed at a youthful audience. It’s also looking at the Ora Cherry Cat compact SUV, so the addition of the Cat hatch could make for an initial Australian line-up.